Author Topic: Oh no. Oh God no.  (Read 27084 times)

Burning Zeppelin

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Oh no. Oh God no.
« on: April 02, 2008, 08:10:32 am »
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/293.html

If this has been posted before, sorry but...this shows so many things wrong with religion. Listen to the children, listen to their view on evolution...argh!

Thought

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2008, 12:55:10 pm »
And oddly enough, that site and the news report shows so many things wrong with anti-religious individuals (though certainly not as many as are wrong with some parts of religion).

The "report" includes an impressive (and by impressive I mean depressing) number of Logical Fallacies. To list those I noticed

False Dilemma: Believing in God and that he created the Earth as described in the bible does not preclude belief in Evolution. Evolution only precludes the concept of a 7 24-hour period of creation (they guys forgot that the Seventh day is still a day of Creation, even though no creating was "done" during that period).

To be fair, this False Dilemma is spouted by the two tour guides as well. But that doesn't excuse the report for making the same mistake.

Francis Collins, for example, is a scientists who believes in both Evolution and the Bible (he does believe in the creation story, but not the interpretation that Two Tour Guides believe; like countless Christians before him through history, he sees it as being up for a myriad of interpretations, of which a literal 7 24-hour periods interpretation is not valid).

Hasty Generalization: "Christians" did not "invade" anything; Creationists (which while being based in Christianity is not part of Christianity) did.

Weasel Words: Creationists did not "invade" anything, they just went to a museum (which were either free to the public or they paid the admission price; in other words they were there just as legitimately as any other patron).

False Assumption: The report assumes that if these people paid attention to an exhibit on how scientists date fossils, they would not have said that scientists use circular reasoning (implying intentional subterfuge, which then is close to an ad hominem attack).

While I can't comment directly on these two men as the report is clearly edited (to be expected, but limits analysis), Creationists unfortunately are well aware of radioactive dating and reject it (therefore, in all likelihood these two men would have rejected the exhibit detailing radioactive dating methods). Creationists reject such methods for a myriad of reasons, ranging from faulty results in some experiments (a poor criteria, as an error in one instance does not indicate an error to the whole) to different universal constants (this element decayed faster or slower in the past) to mitigating circumstances (this occurrence can skew the results, therefore any result that does not fit in with a preconceived notion has been skewed by that occurrence) etc etc etc.

Additionally, a little knowledge can actually be dangerous. There are known problems, for example, with Carbon dating. In historical periods, there is no real room for error; being off by a decade makes the dating almost utterly useless. If a creationist were aware of these problems, that individual could then hold them up as evidence that all dating methods are inaccurate. Of course, in prehistory such "errors" are not significant and in historic periods we have dendrochronology to correct the errors (thus allowing Carbon dating to actually be one of the most accurate dating methods around).

These two men are in error regarding their presentation of the information, no doubts there, but the report is in error in its presentation that Creationists are unaware or utterly ignorant of radioactive dating (they are only partially unaware and somewhat ignorant ;) ).

The website itself isn't very admirable as it interjects its own comments, such as: "In other words, turning children into robot-propagandists to serve some wacko political agenda is a sin of the highest order." Watching the video I did not see a "wacko political agenda." There was certainly a "wacko agenda," but political?

Then there is the statement "These are the same morons who back George Bush and think the war in Iraq is a great idea." This is a unique statement in that it is a red herring, an association fallacy, an appeal to emotion, an ad hominem attack, and a false conclusion (factual error is also a potential fallacy, but there is not enough evidence one way or the other to say for sure). A ratio of 1:4 logical fallacy to words used isn't very common. In reality, there is a good likelihood that these two tour guides actually don't support Bush since he is too liberal (from their perspective).

To be fair, the people who are guiding these "BCT's" (which are neither biblical nor correct, but they are tours I suppose) are full of it. Where in the bible does one find a statement that humans lived during the same period as the dinosaurs or that there was no death before Eve sinned? Yeah, not there. To get such conclusions one has to interpret the creation story in rather curious manners.

And these guys claim that Scientists make claims about the Augustinian Era; no good scientist does so (as indeed science isn't very sure how to address periods of time in which time did not exist to define a period). False statement.

So the site is guilty of logical fallacies, the report is guilty of logical fallacies, and the two tour guides are guilty of logical fallacies. Perhaps this doesn't even show "so many things wrong with religion" but rather "so many things wrong with humanity."

Daniel Krispin

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2008, 03:23:32 pm »
I would just like to make an interesting philosophical point that there is nothing that inherently makes 'science' more rational than 'religious experience.' When you can tell me what the justification for believing what the senses tell us is, and not make it a circular argument in that it's confirmed by itself... and then tell me how any religious experience is any less rational in that it also follows its own internal laws. Essentially, every empirical claim is made based on a faith-assumption that empiricism itself is right... but what proof do we have that it is, in fact, correct? I've no doubt that it is, but that's speaking practically. We cannot ever be entirely certain, logically speaking. Unfortunately, the same argument can be made for religious experience*, no matter what we consider the products of that experience to be (that is, religious systems can be said to go one way or another, but the expierence itself is no less valid than is anything sensory.) It is important for any professed empiricist to understand this.

People often overshoot the mark of what science can tell us. For example, we're always talking about 'how old the universe is.' Yes, we know it existed 12 billion years ago. But it is, in fact, logically impossible to poinpoint the origin of the universe. And the same can be said for many things. We make practical assumptions, but we make assumptions and faith-based claims all the same. This is nothing counter-enlightened, but very a very valid philisophical stance.

Just a thought to consider... how valid are our scientific methods? Ask yourself that. What makes 'the scientific method' right? Because it says it does? Where is its justification? Can you justify it without resorting to circularity? And if you can't, what makes religion distinct from it? If you think it is more logical, only look to various logical religious arguments (ie. cosmological or Anslem's ontological, or things such as that; or even Paschal's wager which, if properly understood, is a deadly and practically logical argument.) Anyway, my point just is, often people consider something right and logical because it follows a method which has... what claim to right? Actually, there might well be very good reasons for being skeptical of the scientific method. But we take it on faith. Note, these are all purely philosophical questions.

So BZ, before you say there's so much wrong with religion and its assumed beliefs, you have to question how much there is solid in science, and why it is. Maybe there's about as much wrong with science. Of course, it's practically useful, but then again... so is religion, in many of its forms. The two aren't so distinct as you might believe.  

Just some thoughts. They're instilled in my by my agnostic philosophy prof. Heh. Just a warning: be careful what you believe. Even of science.

*Nb. this argument is made by a philosopher by the name of Alston.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 03:32:43 pm by Daniel Krispin »

Anacalius

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2008, 05:50:25 pm »
I don't really wanna get in the middle of this argument that is never going to end, so I'm just going to say this:

Religion is NOT the problem here, neither is evolution. It's the fact that people decided to make huge guesses on both of these things (Like the fact that the guy in the video says there's no death before Eve sinned, which is never ever stated in the Bible.) I believe in the Bible, and I have never found any evidence whatsoever in the Bible that says the Earth is only 6,000 years old, man lived with dinosaurs, etc. I believe in my faith, I'm not going to alter it to make evolution look bad. I do believe in evolution also, however. I don't personally believe that all life came from cells, but I'm not going to say evolution doesn't exist because it DOES. The world changes, species change, mutations occur which are passed from parent to child, altering the species. The Bible says God created TWO people, Adam and Eve, which all of mankind came from. How then, are there so many different races of humans? That's called evolution. Different races were born, much like the millions of races of any other kind of animal. Evolution has always occured, it always will. I'm not one to believe my ancestors were monkeys, but that's just me. Show me scientific PROOF, not theories, and I'll be convinced otherwise. Beliefs are a problem when taken to extremes, is the point here. When you are told something or learn something and are going to 100% believe it no matter what, you allow your mind to shut down completely, making you a dumbass who refuses to accept facts shown before you, or consider theories placed before you. NO ONE has found the source of the universe, so to me, believing in evolutionism (as presented by Darwin) or creationism completely is just plain stupid. Neither has been proven. Beliefs are dangerous, they allow the mind to stop functioning, and a non functioning mind is clinically dead. So don't ever fully believe in ANYTHING. Always keep your mind open to other alternatives or possibilities.

dan_death

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2008, 07:46:02 pm »
I say they shouldn't be shoving this stuff down kids throats, especially when they're THAT young. What they should be doing is teaching them how to think for themselves, and not have someone else do it for them.

I know from experience, I was in a Christian church ever since I was born, and they constantly pushed crap through my head. But obviously, it didn't work, since I stopped going last year, and don't believe a single thing of it anymore. That's when I got into philosophy and started studying things that Lennon studied. Like the Bhagavad Gita. That's the time when I finally could think for myself.

I believe in certain parts of religions, like Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism.  I take certain parts of each, and use it to help guide myself. But I also study some of the things that Jesus said, which I find to be useful. I'm also not a "religious" person though, just spiritual.

I agree with Anacalius, to keep an open mind, and not fully believe in anything.

And the guys in the video are taking things way too far.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 07:52:48 pm by dan_death »

FaustWolf

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2008, 08:10:33 pm »
How does everyone feel about the museum director's decision to let these "Biblically Correct Tours" take place? I applaud him for his tolerance, but on the other hand it's promoting the diminution of certain truths that have become fairly evident -- with respect to evolution, scientists tell us that we are, like, 99.5% genetically identical to bonobos, a subset of chimpanzee, showing that we branched off relatively recently. We are far less genetically identical to flies and plantlife.

But, not being scientifically skilled enough to examine the DNA of a fly and compare it to my own, am I not taking evolution on the basis of faith? I mean, I am *trusting* scientists to tell me what's what, and accurately so. Sort of like how those kids are *trusting* that the BCT guide to tell them how the world really works. The only difference is, there are presumably copious notes on the evolutionary process made with the help of the scientific method. Maybe I can find them on Wikipedia?


EDIT: Daniel, I've been considering your philosophical evaluation of the scientific method, and I'll give it a go, though do tell me if my logic is circular.

The scientific method is valid inasmuch as it helps us discover the mechanisms that cause phenomena to operate as we observe. I'll use as a fresh example the Chrono Cross Model Project -- an effort to uncover the principles that govern the 3D models in Cross, with the goal of recreating the models outside of the game. The project worked (and is still working) as follows: a theorist would propose that, say, one part of the model data cuts up the 2D character texture into triangles and specifies where those triangles would be applied on the model, sort of like decals on a toy model. We then examined the character model data at the hexadecimal level and conducted various experiments to test the hypothesis. Sure enough, we figured out the rules by which the textures are applied to the character models, and we were even able to use those rules to assign given texture pieces to the wrong places on Serge's character model. In other words, we know, objectively, how the model textures are applied to the models in Chrono Cross, and we have demonstrated that those mechanisms are at work when a player sees a character model in-game.

DNA is to evolution what the hexadecimal code is to the texture/model relationship. As long as they can trust their five senses, scientists have demonstrated through genetic engineering that new creatures are created when someone fiddles with a given creature's DNA. It may even be possible to get a chimp to give birth to the "Missing Link" itself with enough modification. While this is proof of God's nonexistence to atheists, I find no reason why the religious should shy away from it; if God created the original DNA scheme just as a Square employee created the texture/model scheme for Chrono Cross, we come closer to the presence of God/Square by figuring out how these things work.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 08:54:23 pm by FaustWolf »

ZeaLitY

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2008, 08:40:51 pm »
The beginning of the video gave me such a warm feeling when I saw those kids talking about science affectionately; before I was told they are creationist home-schooled children. I thought of this:



I thought, how wonderful, that even with the intolerance of today, the religious neglect, the shortsightedness and willful ignorance, that these children have a palpable desire to learn right now. I give major props to the editor of the video for presenting it like that, because it made the fall of that beautiful vision even more poignantly painful.

Those children will not be a new generation of freethinking, ethically independent, rational Americans. They'll be another drop in the ocean of bigoted, hateful, wingnuts who are hellbent on stopping human advancement, education, and illumination. Their tour leaders are like Huckabee-lite. Theocracy much? What about theocracy over education?

Quote
Religion is NOT the problem here, neither is evolution. It's the fact that people decided to make huge guesses on both of these things

One "guess" is based on observable evidence and logical likelihood. The other "guess" is based on some 4,000 year old dude's crazy idea, and we have plenty of those from several religions which contradict each other.

Quote
Beliefs are a problem when taken to extremes

Science is not a terminal "belief". If we discover something new about the universe, we will cast away our old ideas and accept the new, more logical explanation. If you want a dead belief system, religion is your game. It hasn't changed in millennia, as we are reminded every time someone's stoned to death somewhere in the world!

Quote
not fully believe in anything.

I fully believe in my mind's ability to reason and use logic to solve problems and explain phenomena. If you think science is some grand, finished belief system dreamed up on thousands of baseless assumptions, then the creationists have succeeded with you. Science is the sum of humanity's reason, and changes with better reason and evidence.

Quote
How does everyone feel about the museum director's decision to let these "Biblically Correct Tours" take place?

I'd let them in for the same reason the curator does. Some of those children WILL pay attention to the exhibits and a seed of doubt will be born. The chance that seed will be born is higher if they're facing science in person versus doing whatever they do each day in their lives.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 08:43:48 pm by ZeaLitY »

FaustWolf

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2008, 09:05:53 pm »
And the chance that seed will be born would be even higher if the tour guide weren't blocking the children's view of the scientific explanation for radiometric carbon dating. That was just wrong.

I'd like to know their explanation for just how Noah got a T-Rex into the same boat with a cow and not end up with the cow being eaten. That flood lasted a while; T-Rex would have gotten hungry at some point. I guess this calls for ... the Chrono Beef!

Anacalius

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2008, 12:25:56 am »
I'm not going to quote you, Zeality, but I would like to make the point that I was not referring to science as a belief, I was referring to evolution as presented by Darwin as a belief, which it is, since no scientifical evidence exists, merely theories, which as you say, are based on common sense and observation. Common sense and observation doesn't make facts, however. Am I saying my belief in the Bible is a fact? Hell no! I believe in it for my own personal reasons, and unlike the people in that video, I'm not going to say it's the ONLY correct theory, I'm not even going to say it's correct at all, it's just what makes the most sense to me, personally. As for the kids in the video, we're all taught bullshit whether it's creationism in private schools, or anything else in a public school. I think we can all agree that at some point in our childhood we were taught bullshit. That's the parents decision on what kind of schooling they personally want their children to take part in, after that, the kids have to think for themselves. Either way, I think most people grow up with a certain belief pounded into their head to make them the "bigoted, hateful, wingnuts who are hellbent on stopping human advancement, education, and illumination" you speak of. I think the human race just exists that way, myself. Most people are not comfortable with other people's way of life, so they judge it and ridicule it. Most humans are just stupid, I think we can all agree on that.

Here's the part that bothers me, personally. I went to a private school for about a year, before I was kicked out. The reason I was kicked out? It was "ungodly" to question things like this. For instance, they were talking about the fault of the big bang theory is the question of "Where did the matter come from to cause the big bang?", I countered this with "Where did God come from to create the Earth?". After continuous "Rebellion", as they called it, from me, I was booted from the school and sent back to a public school. In public schools you face similar problems though, you still aren't able to question many things without being told to shut up. It may not seem as extreme as most private schools, but it still happens.

I would like to stress that there is a difference in religious people (Which I consider myself religious) and fundamentalist religious people (The psychotic, dogmatic, fundamentalists believers you see on T.V. letting off bombs and killing people in the name of god). I don't think believing in God hurts society in any way whatsoever, except when taken to extremes, as I said in my last post. What is extremes? Well here's a bunch of quotes from online forums where these psychotic, fundamentalist Christians stated things:

http://duggmirror.com/comedy/100_Greatest_Quotes_from_fundamentalist_christian_chat_rooms/

"There are a lot of things I have concluded to be wrong, without studying them in-depth. Evolution is one of them. The fact that I don't know that much about it does not bother me in the least."
That's a quote from that link, that's the kind of thing I'm talking about. How the fuck can you believe in the Bible completely if you have NEVER thought about other things? Keep your mind open, and yes, think for yourselves!
 
So again, I go back to my statement of fully believing in anything 100% is dangerous, and down right stupid. We all have to keep an open mind about things, evidence, advancements, and science.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 12:38:34 am by Anacalius »

FaustWolf

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2008, 12:47:17 am »
Fun fact about the Big Bang Theory I learned today -- it was first proposed by a priest.

What's really interesting is that the Catholic Church didn't seem to mind one iota. The dude was honored by Pope John XXXIII in 1960, decades after he proposed the Big Bang. It is extremely weird, as you'd think he would have been excommunicated or defrocked or something.

Anacalius

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2008, 12:48:29 am »
Yeah, that is pretty strange. I read the post earlier today about that. Interesting stuff.

Luminaire85

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2008, 01:06:22 am »
I'm not one to believe my ancestors were monkeys, but that's just me. Show me scientific PROOF, not theories, and I'll be convinced otherwise.

First, the theory of evolution states not that humans evolved from monkeys, but rather that humans, monkeys, and all life on Earth evolved from a common ancestor. This may seem like nitpicking, but is actually a very important distinction. Second, the concept of "scientific proof" is a contradiction, and desiring such an impossible thing is a great excuse to form a closed mind.

...I was referring to evolution as presented by Darwin as a belief, which it is, since no scientifical evidence exists, merely theories, which as you say, are based on common sense and observation. Common sense and observation doesn't make facts, however.

In both of these statements you are using the common meanings of theory and fact when you should be using the scientific meanings. Quoth the Wikipedia:

Quote
A theory is a logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from or is supported by experimental evidence (see scientific method). In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations, and is predictive, logical, and testable. In principle, scientific theories are always tentative, and subject to corrections or inclusion in a yet wider theory.

Quote
In the most basic sense, a scientific fact is an objective and verifiable observation; in contrast with a hypothesis or theory, which is intended to explain or interpret facts.

Thus there is no such thing as a "mere theory" in scientific terms, only valid and invalid theories. And the theory of evolution is valid because there is an incredible amount of scientific evidence that supports it.

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2008, 01:08:42 am »
Quote from: Anacalius
I don't personally believe that all life came from cells, but I'm not going to say evolution doesn't exist because it DOES.

I'll assume you mean that you don't believe that the earliest lifeforms were single celled, or if you do, you don't believe that all of the species that follow are descendend from them. What do you believe multi-celluar organisms arrose from, and what evidence do you base that on?

Quote from: Anacalius
The world changes, species change, mutations occur which are passed from parent to child, altering the species. The Bible says God created TWO people, Adam and Eve, which all of mankind came from. How then, are there so many different races of humans? That's called evolution. Different races were born, much like the millions of races of any other kind of animal.

Biologically speaking, there is presently one human race.

Quote from: Anacalius
Evolution has always occured, it always will. I'm not one to believe my ancestors were monkeys, but that's just me. Show me scientific PROOF, not theories, and I'll be convinced otherwise.

Why do you believe that mainstream evolutionary biology indicates that you are the descendant of a monkey? We share a common ancestor with monkeys, but that doesn't mean we are there descendants.

The term "theory" when used in a scientific context, like say, "the Theory of Evolution" doesn't mean the same thing it does in common usage:

http://wilstar.com/theories.htm

It wouldn't be a theory if there wasn't already mountains of evidence for it. Just what sort of evolution do you believe in, and what do you mean by "believe" in this context?

Quote from: Anacalius
NO ONE has found the source of the universe, so to me, believing in evolutionism (as presented by Darwin) or creationism completely is just plain stupid. Neither has been proven.

What is evolutionism, and why do you believe that the state of evolutinary science has not advanced since Darwin?

I realize it seems like I'm giving you a hard time, but it seems as though you are taking two competing models and spliting the difference; trying to find the truth by taking the middle path. It doesn't always work that way, and this is one of those cases. If you had two people, and one argued that we should kill every kitten, and one argued that we should kill no kittens, does that mean that we should kill every other kitten? Of course not. This is the same way. The present evidence does not indicate that each side is partially correct.

Quote from: FaustWolf
As long as they can trust their five senses, scientists have demonstrated through genetic engineering that new creatures are created when someone fiddles with a given creature's DNA. It may even be possible to get a chimp to give birth to the "Missing Link" itself with enough modification.

How would a chimp produce it's own vast ancestor? The notion of a "missing link" is based on the false notion that we're descended from chimps. We share a common ancestor.

Quote from: FaustWolf
While this is proof of God's nonexistence to atheists, I find no reason why the religious should shy away from it; if God created the original DNA scheme just as a Square employee created the texture/model scheme for Chrono Cross, we come closer to the presence of God/Square by figuring out how these things work.

I will speak only for myself here. The mountains of evidence for evolution are not why I'm an atheist, nor do they prove to me the non-existence of God. I'm an atheist because at present, there is not evidence for any sort of god, nor is there any evidence that such a being is neccisary to the existence of the universe. With no evidence and evidently no need, I reject the notion of a god as unneccisary and likely false. It is possible that I am incorrect, and that new evidence will force me to re-evaluate the issue. It hasn't come up yet.

Quote from: Daniel Krispin
Just a thought to consider... how valid are our scientific methods? Ask yourself that. What makes 'the scientific method' right?

The scientific method is the method we have that most effectively increases our knowledge and predictive capability regarding the universe in which we live. Perhaps this is all an illusion of some sort; our physical bodies are lies fed to our consciousness by powers we can neither discover nor comprehend. Even if this is the case, the overwhelming majority of human consciousnesses experience a seemingly consistent reality, and those that don't often deviate in predicatble ways. As long as we exist in a mostly consistent context, the scientific method still holds as the best method we have for understanding that context, as it is the only one that provides increased, verifiable (in the over-arching context consciousnesses exist in) knowledge about anything and everything within the scope of that context (and perhaps even the context itself).

Daniel Krispin

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2008, 01:15:11 am »
The scientific method is the method we have that most effectively increases our knowledge and predictive capability regarding the universe in which we live. Perhaps this is all an illusion of some sort; our physical bodies are lies fed to our consciousness by powers we can neither discover nor comprehend. Even if this is the case, the overwhelming majority of human consciousnesses experience a seemingly consistent reality, and those that don't often deviate in predicatble ways. As long as we exist in a mostly consistent context, the scientific method still holds as the best method we have for understanding that context, as it is the only one that provides increased, verifiable (in the over-arching context consciousnesses exist in) knowledge about anything and everything within the scope of that context (and perhaps even the context itself).

Perfect answer. That about kills skepticism (unless you just want to be stupidly skeptical, and cling to the 'well, there's a 1% chance that it's all wrong...' sort of thinking... but that gets us nowhere.)

However, what must be asked then is: 'why can't religious experience also be given the same treatment?' This is Alston's argument. See, if that method is simply the best and most consistent way of gaining empirical knowledge, even if it is self affirming, could not religious experience be considered as the best and most practical way of gaining knowledge about God? If you seek to disprove it, you cannot, not without throwing the same questions on sensory perception and the scientific method. See, both have their own self-affirmation. True, they are not the same (ie. consistancy for sense, which is not there for religious experiences), but this is not a problem. As Alston would say, consistency is not a measure of reliability in all circumstances. In something like mathematics, yes, it implies reliability; but in something that is by nature in flux, consistancy would denote unreliability. Therefore, with the base practices being by nature self-affirming, and since we cannot apply what affirms one practice (ie. sense, or empiricism) to another (ie. religious experience), one cannot properly critisize religious experience. It's a long article, but make an interesting point.

An interesting thought, one I came across the other day.

Actually, I have learned a whole heck of interesting things lately in my philosophy class. Just the other day we did Pascal's wager. That's a pretty deadly argument about why it's better ot be religious than not. Even my agnostic prof said it proves it to him. The only way around it is that it can't make you believe, all it does is tell you you should. Though there's even an answer for that: let yourself be given the chance. An interesting argument. Then we've had all the proofs for and against God. Ontological, Teleological, Cosmological... or, heh, the arguements against like the problem of evil (nasty one there... very tough to explain away!) Ontological is seen to be the best of the bunch, I think. Gets as close to proving God as anything can. Anyway, pretty neat stuff.

Anyway, as it regards this whole thing... please, let's be careful about being zealots, on either side. Remember that even if these kids are being taught to think in a certain framework, so too do we get taught to see all things in a certain, scientific framework. It works both ways. We've gotta be careful. Of course, I'm no young earth proponent myself, but you've gotta be wary of just spouting scientific rhetoric as well. Always question and be wary. Even science is often wrong. We're running into the trouble of taking anything that has the label of 'science' as being a true belief. This is not necessarially the case, but in doing so we are making it into almost a 'work of god' sort of thing, something beyond reproach. It isn't. Not even evolution is. Oh, it may well be right. But don't be too dogmatic, else you'll just be a plain old zealot.

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I will speak only for myself here. The mountains of evidence for evolution are not why I'm an atheist, nor do they prove to me the non-existence of God. I'm an atheist because at present, there is not evidence for any sort of god, nor is there any evidence that such a being is neccisary to the existence of the universe. With no evidence and evidently no need, I reject the notion of a god as unneccisary and likely false. It is possible that I am incorrect, and that new evidence will force me to re-evaluate the issue. It hasn't come up yet.

RD, here I'm disagreement. You mean there is no empirical evidence. Maybe, but there are many logical arguments that might constitute a priori evidence. Of course, in the end, God is unproveable by any evidence (such is my belief), and you are right: such a being is not actually necessary given the evidence we have (or I do not think so.) I was actually arguing that point with a philosophy prof today - the complexity of the world cannot be taken as a probabalistic argument in favour of a creator. However, that does not mean that there can't be a God. It's an either or. To stand with God or not is a sort of 50/50. Evidence to this effect is irrelivant (to preempt any saying 'no, it's more likely there isn't', because evidence relies on aposteriori arguments which really don't suffice for God.) I would beg you to cease referring to it as needing new 'evidence' as though it can be empirically found. It can't, and you'll be waiting a long time for it if you're looking for it there. And anyway, all that evidence and science is giving us is a set of causality, answering 'how' and not really 'why' (need there be a why, though?) - I'm not certain that it has removed the need for God, seeing as we still have the question of 'why did the universe begin?' It hasn't answered that. It's given us a 'how'. But what about that 'why'? That's something science can't in principle answer. As such, you might ask 'has the need for God really been removed?' Maybe. Maybe not. Nonetheless, I'll grant you that it is definitely a valid stance to hold, seeing as we cannot really know one way or another... I don't think.

But this is something I'll have to ask. What about the Ontological argument? The whole idea of 'God is such that nothing greater can be conceived'; since truth is greater than conception, God must exist if He can be conceived. That's pretty compelling. And doesn't Pascal's wager give you sufficent practical cause to judge belief useful, or do you defer to not being able to believe, despite its use? I grant you no empirical evidence can be used to speak of God (how could it? I always laugh when people think we're going to turn over a stone and find some proof of God. If all of creation is the mark of God, how in the bloody world could we somehow seperate a part of it to see it as 'proof'? Either we see it all as His, or we don't. It's impossible to make that judgement objectively. As such, it's impossible to gather together any proof. That is, of course, assuming the God of the philosophers, the omni-God.)

As I see it, belief in God is a faith claim. It is no more or less rational than non belief. If you believe, the logic supports you (because there are good arguments for, and you can place God at the top); if you don't, well, God isn't necessary in all those arguments. Say, cosmological. One might say 'God exists, and so is the unmoved mover, or perhaps uncaused first cause.' But you could turn around and say 'no God exists, and it's all just there as it is, with the totality being cause,' or something like that. Now before people jump on me for saying these things, the rationality of the conception of the omni-God is not something that's just some wacky religious babble. There are many eminent philosophers that have held this, and made logical proofs to that effect, such as Descarte, Kant, and so on. If it is unproveable, it is at the very least logically possible. Mark, this is a philosophical stance, not a purely religious one. And, actually, I'm condensing this from what I've learned about such philosophers, and not something I've learned religiously. So if you take issue with me, do so as a philosopher, not as someone religious, I suppose.

By the way, what IS your philosophical stance? Which philosopher do you most have a liking for?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 01:51:37 am by Daniel Krispin »

Anacalius

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Re: Oh no. Oh God no.
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2008, 01:53:25 am »

I'll assume you mean that you don't believe that the earliest lifeforms were single celled, or if you do, you don't believe that all of the species that follow are descendend from them. What do you believe multi-celluar organisms arrose from, and what evidence do you base that on?



Biologically speaking, there is presently one human race.



Why do you believe that mainstream evolutionary biology indicates that you are the descendant of a monkey? We share a common ancestor with monkeys, but that doesn't mean we are there descendants.

The term "theory" when used in a scientific context, like say, "the Theory of Evolution" doesn't mean the same thing it does in common usage:

http://wilstar.com/theories.htm

It wouldn't be a theory if there wasn't already mountains of evidence for it. Just what sort of evolution do you believe in, and what do you mean by "believe" in this context?


What is evolutionism, and why do you believe that the state of evolutinary science has not advanced since Darwin?

I realize it seems like I'm giving you a hard time, but it seems as though you are taking two competing models and spliting the difference; trying to find the truth by taking the middle path. It doesn't always work that way, and this is one of those cases. If you had two people, and one argued that we should kill every kitten, and one argued that we should kill no kittens, does that mean that we should kill every other kitten? Of course not. This is the same way. The present evidence does not indicate that each side is partially correct.

Paragraph 1: I believe in the 7 days of creationism. May sound stupid to most people, but it's what I personally believe.
I don't see how this is any more silly than the big bang theory, etc. Since no explanation for the creation of the universe has enough evidence to support it.
Honestly, I just don't care enough to push this on other people to dig up a bunch of evidence for you, especially since it'd be a waste of time anyway because like I just said, there isn't enough evidence to support it. I believe in it because it personally makes the most sense to me, but if I were shown otherwise with proof, I would accept it. I personally believe it because the world has balance, a system that works together and involves every piece, implying that there was a designer. Much like a car engine, computer program, etc.

Paragraph 2: I used the wrong word when I said "race", but you know what I mean, or at least you should.

Paragraph 3: Yeah, common ancestor would have been the right word to use there. "I personally don't believe my common ancestors were monkeys." Again, if I was shown otherwise with proof, I would accept it.

Paragraph 4: I think you're picking on my word usage a bit, though I do agree with the statement. If you really want me to go back and edit the previous posts to fix it, I will. But I think everyone is understanding what I mean by the word "theory", since I'm talking about the theory of evolution and the theory of creationism.

Paragraph 5: Again, I think you're nitpicking with my words again with the word "believe". And yes, it still is a theory, because it hasn't been proven. A scientific theory remains a scientific theory until it is proven to be a scientific FACT, meaning it has been tried, tested, proven, and can never change. My view is a scientific theory as well, so don't think I'm being arrogant.

Paragraph 6: I'm not sure if you're asking me what I think evolution is, but I assume you are. I view evolution as changes over time in the species, and the world. The most easily explained example is mankind, technological evolution is the most obvious view here, but the different races of humans (And by race, this time, I mean caucasions, africans, etc. think of when you're filling out a job application, it says "Race:" What do you put?) that have evolved is another example. I never said the scientific theory of evolution has not advanced since Darwin, though I should have said "Started by Darwin" instead of "Presented by Darwin" that way you wouldn't have thought this.

Paragraph 7: Yes, I suppose that is what it seems I am doing, but I'm not. I'm simply not going to pour mountains and mountains of my beliefs onto people, especially since it'd probably not get me anywhere, since most people don't believe it, and a few of the people in this thread have said things like "so many things wrong with religion" already, showing they probably just don't give a fuck, so why waste the time?

If you recall, I said "I don't want to get in the middle of this fight that is never going to end" with my first post on this thread. My only reason in saying anything at all on here was to show that not all religious people are the type shown in that video, which seemed to be what the thread was posted for. I personally find my religion to make the most sense (Again, this is just my view, and I don't enforce this on others.), but I don't take part in most of the stereotypical things that religion gets slammed for (Like blindly believing the Bible without the will to consider other alternatives, or pointlessly believing the world is 6000 years old) most of the time. I don't reject science, I embrace it. I know evolution exists, to a point. However, I've never seen any evidence that we started simple and became this complicated structurally.


Now for my question:

If we started as single cell organisms, and over BILLIONS OF YEARS became the complex, multi-celled organisms we are, why hasn't there been any "missing link" fossils found with all the other fossils? That's where the scientific theory of evolution is killed for me. If over billions of years, we would have had HUGE gaps in time of being the "in between" species, if you will. So why do you think that none of these "missing links" have been found?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 01:57:19 am by Anacalius »